Time finally ran out on supercomputer wizard Seymour Cray Friday when his five-year-old company filed for bankruptcy after failing to sell any of its most powerful computers despite years of expensive development work.
Cray Computer Corp. said it was forced to file for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code because it ran out of funds. It suspended work on its projects and laid off nearly all its 350 employees.
Cray is not related to Cray Research Inc., the company founded in 1972 by Seymour Cray, the father of the supercomputer.
Cray Computer, founded in 1989 after Seymour left Cray Research, had been counting on $20 million from a stock sale to continue developing its CRAY-3 and CRAY-4 supercomputers. It had installed one CRAY-3 machine -- the world's fastest with the ability to do 16 billion calculations a second -- and was building another. But the development projects provided no revenues. And Cray also was spending money on a faster machine, the CRAY-4.
Saddled with high costs, the company lost $37.8 million in the year ended Feb. 15, below its $48 million loss in 1993. But 1994 revenues were only $2.5 million and it was clearly struggling.